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This is, produced by makeinfo version 4.6 from nano.texi.

* nano: (nano).                 Small and friendly text editor.

File:,  Node: Top,  Next: Introduction,  Prev: (dir),  Up: (dir)

   This manual documents GNU `nano', a small and friendly text editor.

* Menu:

* Introduction::
* Editor Basics::
* Online Help::
* Feature Toggles::
* The File Browser::
* Pico Compatibility::
* Building and Configure Options::

File:,  Node: Introduction,  Next: Editor Basics,  Prev: Top,  Up: Top


GNU `nano' is a small and friendly text editor.  Besides basic text
editing, `nano' offers many extra features like an interactive search
and replace, goto line number, auto-indentation, feature toggles,
internationalization support, and filename tab completion.

* Menu:

* Overview::
* Command Line Options::

File:,  Node: Overview,  Next: Command Line Options,  Prev: Introduction,  Up: Introduction


`nano' +LINE [GNU long option] [option] [ FILE ... ]

   The original goal for `nano' was a complete bug-for-bug compatible
emulation of Pico, but nano's main goal is to be as compatible as
possible while offering a superset of Pico's functionality.  Also see
*Note Pico Compatibility::, for other differences.

   Email bug reports to <>.

File:,  Node: Command Line Options,  Prev: Overview,  Up: Introduction

Command Line Options

`nano' takes the following options from the command line:

`-B, --backup'
     When saving a file, back up the previous version of it to the
     current filename suffixed with a ~.

`-D, --dos'
     Write file in DOS format.

`-F, --multibuffer'
     Enable multiple file buffers, if available.

`-I, --ignorercfiles'
     Don't look at $SYSCONFDIR/nanorc or ~/.nanorc, if nanorc support is

`-K, --keypad'
     Do not use the ncurses keypad() call unless necessary.  Try this
     flag if you find that the arrow keys on the numeric keypad do not
     work for you under `nano'.

`-M, --mac'
     Write file in Mac format.

`-N, --noconvert'
     Do not convert files from DOS/Mac format.

`-Q [str], --quotestr [str]'
     Set the quoting string for justifying.  The default is

          `^([ \t]*[|>:}#])+'

     if regular expression support is available, or "> " otherwise.
     Note that `\t' above stands for a literal Tab character.

`-R, --regexp'
     Turn on regular expression search and search/replace.

`-S, --smooth'
     Enable smooth scrolling.

`-T [num], --tabsize=[num]'
     Set the displayed tab length to [num] columns.

`-V, --version'
     Print the version number and copyright and quit.

`-Y, --syntax=[str]'
     Specify a specific syntax highlighting from the .nanorc to use, if

`-c, --const'
     Constantly display the cursor position and line number on the

`-h, --help'
     Print the usage and exit.

`-i, --autoindent'
     Automatically indent new lines to the same number of spaces and
     tabs as the previous line.

`-k, --cut'
     Makes ^K cut from the current cursor position to the end of the
     current line.

`-l, --nofollow'
     When writing files, if the given file is a symbolic link it is
     removed and a new file is created.

`-m, --mouse'
     Enables the use of the mouse to select text (currently only useful
     for running under the X window system).

`-o [dir], --operatingdir=[dir]'
     Set operating directory. Makes `nano' set up something similar to a

`-p, --preserve'
     Preserve the ^Q (XON) and ^S (XOFF) sequences so data being sent
     to the editor can be can be stopped and started.

`-r [#cols], --fill=[#cols].'
     Wrap lines at column #cols.  By default this is the width of the
     screen, less eight. If this value is negative, wrapping will occur
     at #cols from the right of the screen, allowing it to vary along
     with the screen width if the screen is resized.

`-s [prog], --speller=[prog]'
     Invoke [prog] as the spell checker.  By default, `nano' uses its
     own interactive spell checker that requires the `spell' program be
     installed on your system.

`-t, --tempfile'
     Do not ask whether or not to save the current contents of the file
     when exiting, assume yes.  This is most useful when using `nano'
     as the composer of a mailer program.

`-x, --nohelp'
     In Expert Mode, the Shortcut Lists will not appear at the bottom
     of the screen.  This affects the location of the statusbar as
     well, as in Expert Mode it is located at the very bottom of the

     Note: When accessing the help system, Expert Mode is temporarily
     disabled to display the help system navigation keys.

`-v, --view'
     Do not allow the contents of the file to be altered.  Note that
     this flag should NOT be used in place of correct file permissions
     to implement a read-only file.

`-w, --nowrap'
     Do not wrap long lines at any length. This option overrides any
     value for -r.

`-z, --suspend'
     Enable suspend ability of `nano' using the system's suspend
     keystroke (usually ^Z).

`-a, -b, -e, -f, -g, -j'
     Ignored, for compatibility with Pico.

     Start at line number LINE instead of the default of line 1.

File:,  Node: Editor Basics,  Next: Online Help,  Prev: Introduction,  Up: Top

Editor Basics

* Menu:

* Entering Text::
* Special Functions::
* The Titlebar::
* The Statusbar::
* Shortcut Lists::

File:,  Node: Entering Text,  Next: Special Functions,  Prev: Editor Basics,  Up: Editor Basics

Entering Text

All key sequences in `nano' are entered using the keyboard.  `nano' is
a "modeless" editor.  All keys with the exception of Control and Meta
key sequences will enter text into the file being edited.

File:,  Node: Special Functions,  Next: The Titlebar,  Prev: Entering Text,  Up: Editor Basics

Special Functions

Special functions use the Control key (displayed in the help and
shortcut lists as ^) or the Meta key (displayed as M).

   * Control key sequences are entered by holding down the Control key
     and pressing the desired letter.

   * Meta key sequences can be entered in a number of possible ways:
     Pressing the Escape key, then releasing it and pressing the
     desired key, or holding down the Alt key while pressing the desired
     key.  This varies from keyboard to keyboard, and certain commercial
     operating systems "swallow" the Alt key so that it never reaches
     the application. If your operating system does this, you should
     use the Escape key to generate Meta key sequences.

File:,  Node: The Titlebar,  Next: The Statusbar,  Prev: Special Functions,  Up: Editor Basics

The Titlebar

The titlebar is the line displayed at the top of the editor.  There are
three sections: left, center and right. The section on the left displays
the version of `nano' being used.  The center section displays the
current file name, or "New Buffer" if the file has not yet been named.
The section on the right will display "Modified" if the file has been
modified since it was last saved or opened.

   Special modes: When `nano' is in "File browser" mode, the center
section will display the current directory instead of the filename.
*Note The File Browser::.

File:,  Node: The Statusbar,  Next: Shortcut Lists,  Prev: The Titlebar,  Up: Editor Basics

The Statusbar

The statusbar is located three lines from the bottom of the screen (or
the bottom line in Expert Mode.  *Note Expert Mode::, for more info).

   The Statusbar shows important and informational messages.  Any error
messages that occur from using the editor will appear on the statusbar.
Any questions that are asked of the user will be asked on the statusbar,
and any user input (search strings, file names, etc) will be input on
the statusbar.

File:,  Node: Shortcut Lists,  Prev: The Statusbar,  Up: Editor Basics

Shortcut Lists

The Shortcut Lists are the two lines at the bottom of the screen which
show some of the more commonly used functions in the editor.

File:,  Node: Online Help,  Next: Feature Toggles,  Prev: Editor Basics,  Up: Top

Online Help

The online help system in `nano' is available by pressing ^G.  It is
fairly self explanatory, documenting the various parts of the editor
and available keystrokes.  Navigation is via the ^Y (Page Up) and ^V
(Page Down) keys.  ^X exits the help system.

File:,  Node: Feature Toggles,  Next: The File Browser,  Prev: Online Help,  Up: Top

Feature Toggles

Toggles allow you to change certain aspects of the editor that would
normally be done via command line flags. They are invoked via certain
Meta key sequences. *Note Special Functions::, for more info.  The
following global toggles are available:

`Backup File Toggle (Meta-B)'
     toggles the -B (`--backup') command line flag.

`DOS Format Toggle (Meta-D)'
     toggles the -D (`--dos') command line flag.

`Multiple Files Toggle (Meta-F)'
     toggles the -F (`--multibuffer') command line flag.

`AutoIndent Toggle (Meta-I)'
     toggles the -i (`--autoindent') command line flag.

`Cut To End Toggle (Meta-K)'
     toggles the -k (`--cut') command line flag.

`Mouse Toggle (Meta-M)'
     toggles the -m (`--mouse') command line flag.

`Mac Format Toggle (Meta-O)'
     toggles the -M (`--mac') command line flag.

`Smooth Scrolling Toggle (Meta-S)'
     toggles the -S (`--smooth') command line flag.

`AutoWrap Toggle (Meta-W)'
     toggles the -w (`--nowrap') command line flag.

`Expert/Nohelp Toggle (Meta-X)'
     toggles the -x (`--nohelp') command line flag.

`Suspend Toggle (Meta-Z)'
     toggles the -z (`--suspend') command line flag.

`Open Previous File Toggle (Meta-<)'
     changes buffer to previously loaded file.

`Open Next File Toggle (Meta->)'
     changes buffer to next loaded file.

File:,  Node: The File Browser,  Next: Pico Compatibility,  Prev: Feature Toggles,  Up: Top

The File Browser

When reading or writing files, pressing ^T will invoke the file browser.
Here, one can navigate directories in a graphical manner in order to
find the desired file.

   Basic movement in the file browser is accomplished with the arrow
keys and page up/down.  The behavior of the enter (or `s') key varies
by what is currently selected.  If the currently selected object is a
directory, the file browser will enter and display the contents of the
directory.  If the object is a file, this filename and path are copied
to the statusbar and the file browser is exited.

File:,  Node: Pico Compatibility,  Next: Building and Configure Options,  Prev: The File Browser,  Up: Top

Pico Compatibility

`nano' attempts to emulate Pico as closely as possible, but there are
certain differences between the editors:

`Search and Replace History'
     As of version 1.2.4 of `nano', text entered as search or replace
     strings will be stored and can be accessed with the up/down arrow
     keys.  Previously, `nano' offered a more consistent, but
     incompatible with Pico, method for entering search and replace
     strings.  In the old method, previous entries would be displayed
     by default as editable text in front of the cursor, as opposed to
     being bracketed and uneditable as it is in Pico.  The old behavior
     could be made compatible with Pico via the `-p' flag, but recent
     versions of Pico use the `-p' flag to preserve the XON and XOFF
     sequences within the editor.  Since with the new method search and
     replace strings can still be edited by simply hitting the up arrow
     key once, the old method was removed completely.

`Writing or Appending Selected Text to Files'
     Text selected using the Control-Caret (^^) key can be written out
     or appended to a new or existing file using the Writeout key (^O).

     Many options which alter the functionality of the program can be
     "toggled" on or off using Meta key sequences, meaning the program
     does not have to be restarted to turn a particular feature of the
     editor on or off.  Please see the internal help function (^G) for
     a list of what functions can be toggled for a particular version of
     `nano'.  Also see *Note Feature Toggles::, though this may be out
     of date.

`Cursor Position Display'
     The output of the "Display Cursor Position" in `nano' displays the
     given column position, as well as the row and total character
     position of the cursor.

`Interactive Replace and Spell Checker'
     It is worth noting that the `nano' replace function is interactive,
     i.e. it does not stop after one search string is found and
     automatically replace it.  The `nano' implementation will stop at
     each search string found and query whether to replace this
     instance or not.  The internal spell checker operates similarly.
     Note that these is no way to force these functions to behave in
     the Pico fashion.  As of version 1.2.4, misspelled words are
     sorted and trimmed for uniqueness in the internal spell checker
     such that the words 'apple' and 'Apple' will be prompted for
     correction separately.

File:,  Node: Building and Configure Options,  Prev: Pico Compatibility,  Up: Top

Building and Configure Options

Building `nano' from source is fairly straightforward if you are
familiar with compiling programs with autoconf support:

   * tar xvfz nano-x.y.z.tar.gz (where x.y.z is the version of nano)

   * cd nano-x.y.z/

   * ./configure

   * make

   * make install

   if you are looking to optimize `nano' for size, you may want to
consider the following command line options:

     Disable the tab completion code when reading or writing files.

     Disable the justify (^J)/unjustify (^U) functions in the editor.

     Disable spell checker ability.

     Disable the help function (^G).  Disabling this option makes the
     binary much smaller, but makes it difficult for new users to learn
     more than very basic things about using the editor.

     Disable the mini file browser (^T) when reading or writing files.

     Disable all mouse functionality.  This also disables the -m
     command line flag, which enables the mouse functions.

     Disable setting the operating directory.  This also disables the -o
     command line flag.

     This option disables all the above.  It also disables some of the
     larger internals of the editor, like the marker code (^^) and the
     cut to line (-k) option, which depends on the marker code to work
     properly.  It also disables the function toggles.

     Disable all word wrapping in the editor.  This also eliminates the
     -w command line flag, as nonwrapping is then the default behavior.

     Disables Native Language support. This will make the available GNU
     `nano' translations unusable.

     Compiling GNU `nano' with Slang is supported, and will make the
     binary notably smaller than if compiled with ncurses or other
     curses libraries.

Tag Table:
Node: Top199
Node: Introduction509
Node: Overview932
Node: Command Line Options1417
Ref: Expert Mode4474
Node: Editor Basics5386
Node: Entering Text5611
Node: Special Functions5949
Node: The Titlebar6801
Node: The Statusbar7497
Node: Shortcut Lists8076
Node: Online Help8324
Node: Feature Toggles8697
Node: The File Browser10142
Node: Pico Compatibility10849
Node: Building and Configure Options13489

End Tag Table